Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rehab's Over

For those who have been reading my posts, you know that one of my main rant themes is the injustice done to the godbrothers and godsisters by the institution, starting with the zonals back in 1977. Those of us who were in Iskcon then, lived thru a very dark period and we each had our experiences. Those who came later also suffered from the residual effects of those injustices. It seems to me that the so-called reformers who wanted to rectify the mistakes made by the zonals, made their own (mistakes), only compounding the dire straights. So i've been pounding on this theme for some time, because words, even coming from an insignificant source like me, do have power. And because most of the readers have lived thru similar experiences. So my posts serve as a kind of rehab session for all of us to heal our wounds from battles past.

But it's also true that for most of us, those battles were from the past. And the deeper reality of the present is that those battles were part of our destiny. And part of our purification. For one, they should help us realize that no situation, no matter how nice or nasty, is permanent. And second, that regardless of external calamities, nothing can check awareness or devotion for God. Nothing, not even the pralaya.

So it is important for each of us to go deeper. To see the great challenge being offered to us by our destiny . How by participating in a society of a great spiritual teacher, a giant amongst gurus and an empowered deliverer, and then being rejected or rejecting that same society due to its inebriety and inequality, we now have a new chance to either make progress or to regress. We are "on our own," but never alone. We have in our hearts, our relationship with God and guru forged in the impressions of past sincerity. And now, in our growing maturity, these are the relationships that count.

So the time has come for each of us to take up this challenge in our own way. Certainly i would like the emotional support and encouragement of my friends and godbrothers who traverse this narrow path. Just to know that they are making the attempt to make progress, to go deeper, to not be afraid to fail, and to offer whatever they can to the cause of God realization, is a great source of inspiration for me. Let us turn our focus to the positive, the doable, the journey beyond the betrayal, to the plane of inner achievment. Let's allow ourselves the detachment to leave the past and turn the page. Rehab's over. Let's do something.


Atmavidya said...

Excellent and profound proposition. Count me in. I am also in the middle of writing a piece. I will send a copy to you and Anananda in a few days, before publishing. It still carries a major "rehab" part but that is in order. You will see.

Babhru das said...

Well said! Thanks, and please count me in, too.

I've done a little writing the past few days, on a different subject. I'll share it when it's ready. But the thrust of my life right now is getting on with progressive service to Srila Prabhupada. Heck, I'll be 61 in a week, and each day seems shorter than the previous day. As they say in Hawaiian, I mua! Forward!

jauvana said...

Let's share as much as we can with one another in terms of realizations, expressions and preaching attempts. this is the real purport of Iskcon, isn't it? to associate on the basis of mutual respect and seva. the rest is baloney, bullshit, bile.

Carlo Ananda said...

Well said Nava! I for one want to publicly thank you for your thoughtfulness, maturity and sage advice. It is a fact that our entire word of awareness is in dire straits and to understand and relate to that from Krsna's point of view is a major step in KC realization. To come to the deeper platform you speak of, that's harder, much harder for me. How can we let go the history leading up to the travesty that Prabhupada's movement has become? How can we go deeper without abjuring our duty to speak out on Prabhupada's behalf? How to speak that painful truth and yet remain detached? How to implement Prabhupada's advice to "completely neglect" the pseudo vaisnavas who have so much damaged the only hope for humanity? I am willing to listen, to have dialogue and, if necessary, to change. I need help to get there and you blog is very helpful.

jauvana said...

Each of us has his or her own history, and our own crosses to bear. some of us are guilty of acts of commission in "crimes against Prabhupada's legacy" and some of us, omission, and some both. i think it's necessary we take full responsibility for our own crimes, which may be petty (or in some cases justified) due to the "war crimes" we had to face. But by taking full responsibility for our own shortcomings, that can create freedom and detachment for us, new energy.

Remember Krishna is nava, always fresh. If we want to be aware of Him, we need to get into sync. Prabhupada on a morning walk, it may have been around New Year's day in Hawaii, he said something like: "What is this "new year?" every day is new year's day for the devotees." That is where we need to go-- not the past-- but the excitement of seva in the present.

I admit it feels like a long winding road to get there. And "rehab" can help us, by letting us vent our anger and heal our wounds. But we don't want to be stuck in rehab forever. We wanna get out of the hospital and be free.

I have great admiration for your sincerity, your scholarship and your creativity. your preaching and bhajan is inspiring to many, including me.

Carlo Ananda said...

Nava, thank you for your compliments. They mean a lot to me precisely because they're coming from you. Many of the compliments I've received over the years in ISKCON have turned out to be as hollow and cacophonous as a bamboo flute out of tune and badly played to boot.

My little bit of dilemma is the danger of assuming a posture befitting the maha-bhagavat stage in an artificial way. For example, solely or even mainly by our own endeavor, i.e. without waiting for it to be awarded to us from a higher plane in accordance to our deserts. As we know, a preacher, even if he is on the third stage, must perforce descend to the second level to be able to differentiate and thus preach. A preacher is a warrior and must fight or die. As per Prabhupada's comment that he wanted the benediction to go out on his feet fighting, just like Arjuna.

My 2cents. Any comments from anyone?

Atmavidya said...

Very refreshing this exchange. Like a new lease on life. We have much more in common that I could dream of two short years ago. Regarding talking to representatives of the "company", it will lead to nothing, at this point in time anyway. I had a recent exchange with Prahladananda Swami and Kavicandra Swami, plus my experiment in Abentheuer/Germany. I'd rather have a game of dice with Shakuni...

jauvana said...

That's a good example, Atma. Even the Pandavas, personally protected and loved by Sri Krishna, were victims of war crimes. But their reaction was to accept it and wait for the day they could avenge themselves. Our justice will come when Prabhupada shows his pleasure with us. Nothing more, nothing less.
And Ananda, my take on the different levels of vaisnavas is that it is better we think of ourselves as always situated on the Lowest ring of the ladder. that way we can never fall off. in my case it's a stretch for me to claim that position. but regardless of our actual status, the only important thing is to be ready to grab the rope of mercy when Krishna decides to throw it at us. if we are worried about where we are on the ladder, we'll miss the rope.

madhukdasa said...

haribol spirit soul(s). dandavats nava jauvana prabhu. this is your old godbro from new dwarkadham, madhukanta dasa.
mahalo for your blogs. i have been reading them and appreciating their honesty, wisdom and courage.
one thing about rehab, something along the lines of a 12 step program, is that recovery is ongoing. ie...my name is madhu & i am struggling with maya. so rehab may end but our sense of dependence on guru, god and sangha will never end.
anyway, your blog is an inspiration and your good self is setting a good example of speaking truth to power in these dark days of false leaders & failed philosphies. ys madhu